We met up with Baldor and Belgo, our father and son merchants, on the shores of Long Lake to escort them with their pony-string of trade goods to Woodmen Town (?). The plan is to take the northern road west through Mirkwood, then turn south crossing through Beorning territory.
We stop and rest for a few days at the halls of the wood elves without incident, then continue along the road. After a few days of travel, we have our first incident. Baldor gets up in the night to pee and get a drink of water. He drinks from the stream and seems to forget who he is, who we are, and what he is doing there. He runs off into the woods. We spend the night searching for him, and the next day find sign that he ran into some giant spiders. We eventually find him tied up in a web at a ruined keep. Carl Huffingtoe and Denethor Lightbow climb up to try to free him when the spiders attack. The numbers in each wave keep increasing and this long bad battle took most of the evening. Carl, our hobbit, had to be freed from webbing three different times and the fight turned into a running battle away from the ever-increasing number of spiders. There was a lot of stabbing and hacking and shooting arrows during this battle, but the highlight may have been the second time Carl was snared in a web. The spider was dragging Carl closer and closer, and Carl was trying to cut his way out of the webbing with his short sword. The Boar-Slayer grabs Carl and tries to pull him away from the spider and notices that the webbing is strong and highly elastic, so he pulls Carl until the string between him and the spider is twanging taut and releases Carl like a hobbit missile straight at the spider. Carl gains a bonus to his sword attack and badly wounds the spider, which Denethor finishes off with an arrow. Brand, Son of Gorm, kills 7 or 8 spiders single-handed and we finally make it to safety with Baldor.
Several days later, a storm forces us to seek shelter. We find a home inside a hollowed-out tree. The occupant, a crazy old hermit, joins us and we have a social encounter to try to get him not to jab us with his pointy stick. He gives the Boar-Slayer a shard of Wolf-Biter, a legendary Woodman axe that was believed to be lost.
The journey keeps wearing us down. At least half of the party is weary, and several of us have 1-3 shadow points. About a week later, we come across a peaceful glade. People feel a strong urge to rest, and all have dreams about something they strongly desire below them in the rocks. Belgo goes running off, shouting “Mother! Here I come!” and we end on that cliff-hanger.